Medicare Benefit Coverage Available for MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound to Treat Essential Tremor
Magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) (INSIGHTEC, Miami, FL) for the treatment of essential tremor is now available as a medicare benefit in 10 states: Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. On July 1st it will also be a medicare benefit in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan and Missouri. Another 22 medicare administrative contractors (MAC) have issued positive draft local coverage determinations, suggesting there is potential to expand the benefit to a total of 38 states.
"These insurance provider decisions further validate the published data on the safety and efficacy of focused ultrasound and, more importantly, provide patients with an innovative, incisionless treatment option that provides immediate and significant improvement in tremor and quality of life," said Ali Rezai, MD, Executive Chair, Associate Dean and Vice President of the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, one of a growing number of neurosurgeons using INSIGHTEC's Exablate Neuro device.